3 Beautiful Benefits of Commitment in Church Membership

Published: May 23, 2018
3 Beautiful Benefits of Commitment in Church Membership

Work was starting to wear on me. It was our busy season, and I found myself arriving early to the office only to leave late. The days were non-stop, and the nights were short. I could feel my soul craving more of God’s presence, but my busy life didn’t seem to slow down enough to allow me to catch my breath. When Sunday morning came, my flesh was desperate to stay in bed. I deserved it. But my soul knew better. The fatigue I was experiencing needed more than a few extra minutes of sleep.

I rolled out of bed, got dressed, and headed to church with my husband. It was one of those Sundays where you question if it’s worth it on the ride to church. You pass people enjoying long runs, brunch dates, and play-time with their kids at the park as you ride by. You think of all the things you could be doing other than going to church.

At the time we attended a multi-campus, contemporary church that was very diverse. As we walked in, greeted with smiles and programs, my doubt about coming to church started to fade. As we walked to our seats and the worship music played, I scanned the room. It was the first time all week I had a chance to catch my breath and truly take in my environment. I saw some people swaying side to side, some jumping up and down, some singing, and some with tears. I saw all types of people that would otherwise not be enjoying this same moment together had we not decided to go to church. And I began to think about why we came. Though we were different, we had this common thread that brought us all to church: Jesus.

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"I left refreshed, renewed, and ready for a new week."

"I left refreshed, renewed, and ready for a new week."

Standing there at that moment, sharing a time of worship with people that held the same hope as I, filled my soul like no nap or stroll in the park could. I left refreshed, renewed, and ready for a new week.

Now I know this may not be everyone’s church experience and certainly not every Sunday but as I’ve grown in my relationship with the Lord and His church I’ve realized more and more how important and beneficial church attendance and membership is. If you’re on the fence about joining a church or struggle with the desire to want to go at all, I want to encourage you with these three beautiful benefits of church membership.

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1. The Church Equips, Trains, and Builds Believers.

1. The Church Equips, Trains, and Builds Believers.

One of the significant purposes of the church is to train up believers to a life that gives God glory. Once we accept Christ into our lives, we are instantly justified, meaning we are forgiven of our sin and no longer subject to the wrath of God. We also then start a process called sanctification. This does not happen instantly like justification but over the course of our entire lives. This is the process of us becoming more like Christ. Sanctification does not occur in isolation. 

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near,”  Hebrews 10:24-25.

God established the church that we may find the wisdom, tools, help, and accountability to help us through the process of sanctification; that we may learn and grow from one another. As Christians, we should be developing and maturing, and the church is one of the primary ways we can ensure that growth happens. 

"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ," Ephesians 4:11-13

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2. The Church Provides Spiritual Protection and Protection from the Enemy.

2. The Church Provides Spiritual Protection and Protection from the Enemy.

As Christians, we have an enemy of which we need to be aware. 1 Peter 5: 8 tells us: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

We should be aware of our enemy but not fearful of him. The Lord has graciously provided us with every spiritual weapon we need to protect and defend ourselves against the schemes of the enemy. One of the most significant ways we find protection is in the church. There is strength in numbers, and the enemy is more prone to attack a Christian who is alone and off to themselves than one who is connected to a healthy local church and supported by Christian community. 

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes," Ephesians 6:11.

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3. The Church Offers the Opportunity to Share Our Gifts.

3. The Church Offers the Opportunity to Share Our Gifts.

I had a reader ask me recently how to get their passion back for going to church. I reminded her that as many benefits that church does offer us, the church is not only about what we can get out of it. The church is also about what we can give. Many times we lose sight of the beauty of the church when we think it’s all about us. Church, however, offers a unique opportunity to not only receive the gifts of others but also develop and share our own gifts.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness,Romans 12:6-8.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Brooke Cagle
 

"When done right, church has the capacity like nothing else to grow, protect, and train us."

"When done right, church has the capacity like nothing else to grow, protect, and train us."

I understand there are many hesitations people have when it comes to joining a local church. When done right, church has the capacity like nothing else to grow, protect, and train us into the women God is calling us to be. It’s this type of unity that Jesus prayed for us:

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” John 17:20-23.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Matt Botsford
 

"We should love what Jesus loves."

"We should love what Jesus loves."

As Christians, we should love what Jesus loves. So if He loves the church, so should we. It is my prayer that if you’re not in a church, you will find and join a healthy church that correctly teaches the Bible. If you are part of a church, I hope you find inspiration to plug in and get connected, if you aren’t already, so that you may truly experience all that church has to offer. 

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Vladislav Nikonov

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Originally published Wednesday, 23 May 2018.